How easy is it to introduce new chickens to an established group?

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Pepperpincushion

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I have four young hybrids (must be about 26 ish weeks now) and I'm wondering if I might add to their numbers some time in the near future.
How easy is this to do and what do I need to know?
I'm assuming that just adding one might be asking for trouble, so what would be a good number? Does age or breed have any impact on how likely they are to get along?
Anything else I need to consider?
TY!  ;)

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Rockchick

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I'm new to chicken keeping as well. Recently one of our three became ill and had to returned to the breeder. He offered a replacement but I was nervous about introducing her to the other two. I expected WW3 to break out. We only have one house and couldn't separate them. But I took his advice and put her inside the house in the evening just before the others went to bed. Silence... except nail-biting but that was me. All went well without any fuss and the next morning it was as though she'd always been there. This may be exceptional and be useful just for introducing one but it certainly worked for me.

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Kenilworth

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  • Location: Bedford
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We do similar to what you did RockChick and introduce the new bird to the coop at night, sometimes it works peacefully sometimes it doesnt.

On two occasions we have had one particular bird that was really aggressive towards the new comer, i assummed it was the top bird asserting her dominance but we were advised by our poultry center that it was most likely  the bird that was at the bottom of the origianal pecking order saying to the new bird that she was now bottom of the pile! How true this was i'm not sure.

With all introductions you'll always get a bit of squabbling but if it does get too bad all we did was isolate the agressive bird but still in full view of the others for a few weeks and then reintroduced her, there were still a few squabbles but nothing as bad as there had been.

As to answer the original question i'm not sure if there is any real stead fast rules as all birds are different with different personality's. With such a small flock adding any number of new birds maybe tricky as the dynamics of the flock will change more drastically as  compared to adding to a large flock, its just a case of keeping a close watch for anything too serious.



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